Rarely do I complain about a company but it seems there’s been twice this year (ok, maybe three) when I’ve felt the need to let the Internet consumer know about my experiences. Perhaps my experiences are not typical; however, what if they are? Wouldn’t you want to know prior to submitting an order what the potential frustrations could be?
My latest rant is against Lumens.com. And it is over the dumbest possible thing: lightbulbs. I placed a rather large order with Lumens in early February because we are finally doing a complete remodel of our downstairs and our bathrooms.
Nick asked me to go check if we had received all the lights one day last week, and so I did. The only mistake I found was 5 lightbulbs and perhaps a missing light fixture. No big deal, right? We had ordered white lightbulbs but they sent red. Yes, red. What were they trying to tell me :-)?
I called Lumens to tell them that I wanted to return two lights that didn’t look right in my bathroom and told them about what I thought was a missing light (it wasn’t) and about the red bulbs.
Strike one: They didn’t call me back but only communicated through my designer via email even though I had left my phone number, the sales order number, and why I was calling and asked them to call me back. Also, it states specifically on the completed sales order that you must “call to return.”
Strike two: Customer service wanted a picture of the lightbulbs. What? They wanted a picture of the lightbulbs? They wanted it for training purposes. First of all, it was a $4.95 line item on a much larger order and they should have sent out the correct lightbulbs to me on the next FedEx truck no questions asked. Second, taking a picture of the lightbulbs involved me taking time out of my day/life to make an unnecessary stop at the job site. The lightbulbs are on the job site and I am not. Third, customer service’s job is to make sure I’M happy, not to use me to provide training for their employees. My purchases are paying their employees!!
Strike three: Even though I sent a picture last week of the lighbulbs (which, by the way, I discovered I could get at Wal-mart for $2.50 instead of $4.95+delivery charges), I have not heard another word about them.
Strike four: I read the replacement sales order for my light bulbs and it’s going to another person’s address. I’m sure the lady will be quite confused when she receives five white (well, hopefully they’re not red again) lightbulbs. Turns out, the address is another client of my designer so at least picking them up if they end up there won’t require a huge explanation since the lady is also having work done.
Strike five: In this day and age of lightning fast info transferring from one place to another, I will have to wait three to four weeks to see a credit on my credit card for the returned lights. Three to four weeks? Seriously? They took the payment right away so why isn’t the refund processed right away? Or even within 5-7 days?
“Once your Return has arrived, and has been inspected, you will receive a refund within 2 to 3 weeks.”
I want to be clear about a couple things. One is that this is a great example of poor customer service and how not to do things in a business. The customer service person was probably just doing her job and following the rules rather than making an executive decision. Here’s what she may have been thinking: The rules are blah, blah, blah, so even though this person’s complaint is that we sent five red lightbulbs, I still need to request proof and make the customer jump through all these hoops for products that cost about the same as a Starbucks latte.
We have created replacement request #SOxxxxx for the replacement 40 Watt G 16 1/2 E12 based bulbs. Please reply to this email with some pictures of the bulbs you received in the red finish so we can forward that information to our replacements team for quality control purposes. Thank you very much for your patience in this matter and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
And the other main point of this rant is if you’re considering buying your dream light and putting it on your credit card, be aware of how long it will take to receive a credit back for a light you may send back. You may have to wait three to four weeks.
We have more light fixtures to buy and I won’t be buying them at Lumens.
In order to end this on a good note, I would like to say that the light fixtures arrived at the job site fairly quickly and were packaged well. If you’re going to take a chance and buy from Lumens.com, at least know they’ll show up in a timely manner and the chances of the lights being broken are slim due to the excellent packaging. I mean, hell, even the red lightbulbs arrived in one piece! And if you need a red lightbulb, I’ve got five for sale…